BBC too accepting of prevailing view on transgenderism, says John Humphrys

John Humphrys presented the Today programme for 32 years before departing earlier this year(Photo: BBC)

John Humphrys has accused the BBC of a liberal bias on the issue of gender identity and transgenderism. 

The former presenter of Radio 4's Today programme said that the approach of the BBC "with that sort of social development is to be immediately sympathetic, not entirely detached as it should be".

Speaking at The Times and Sunday Times Cheltenham Literature Festival, Humphrys said that the BBC "probably always has had an institutional bias". 

"If you take something like transgender, their mindset is such that we must kind of accept what the prevailing view is, except that their idea of the prevailing view and perhaps mine and some other people's might be slightly different," he said. 

He admitted to feeling "slightly worried" about "children being told, you might be a girl or you think you might be a boy, we'll go and get you medical attention".

"I'm uneasy about children being told in schools that there are more than 100 different genders," he added. 

He was referring to a new teaching series developed by the BBC for use in schools that tells children there are more than two genders. 

In the BBC Teach series, aimed at 9- to 12-year-olds, Relationships and Sex Education teacher Kate Daniels tells children: "So we know we've got male and female, but there are over 100, if not more, gender identities now.

"You've got some people who might call themselves gender queer, who are just like 'I don't really want to be anything in particular, I'm just going to be me.'"

The series has been created to support PSHE (Personal, Social, Health and Economic) lessons in schools but has been strongly criticised by Christians and family groups.  

The Coalition for Marriage called it "incredibly dangerous". 

"The nonsensical claim is included in a new BBC Teach video series for 9-12 year olds which is supposed to help teachers 'deal with sensitive subjects in an age-appropriate... and honest way'. It does neither," it said.

"The reality is transgender ideology causes pain and suffering," it added.

Antonia Tully, of the Society for the Protection of Unborn Children, described the teaching material as "sinister lunacy". 

"It would be a joke if it wasn't for the fact that it has been produced by the BBC, which many schools would accept as an authoritative source. It becomes even less of a joke with the realisation that schools are very likely to purchase this," she said. 

Christian writer and evangelist David Robertson warned that the resources were harmful to children.

"The BBC are teaching queer theory as scientific fact when it isn't," he said.

"They are dismantling the whole idea of truth. But it is also inhumane and harmful to children."